Business analytics is one of the most sought-after qualifications in the finance world today. We are constantly bombarded by torrents of data, and there are simply not enough people to process, compile, and analyse it all.
And yet, analytics plays one of the most crucial roles when it comes to budgeting, purchasing decisions, product management, marketing, and production. This means that those with a business analytics qualification will always be able to use their skills and find a place in the job market. Let’s take a look at some of the best career options for business analytics graduates.
Data Scientist/Computer Science
This is a great option if you’re more intrigued by the technical side of data analytics. As part of your duties, you will be asked to work with:
- High-performance computing
- Parallel processing
- Machine learning
Those who understand machine learning will be especially sought after as they’ll be able to work on predictive models that will be leveraged for business purposes. All of these tools will be used by them to gather data and for visualisation.
Data visualisation plays a very important role in the job of a data scientist. They have to be able to turn datasets into clear charts and tables that will be understandable to all decision-makers. Data scientists also have to keep refining their tools and learn new languages that will allow them to be more efficient, such as Python, Julia, Scala, and Spark just to name a few.
This is a particularly great field if you have a background in mathematics, accounting, or engineering. You could use this foundation and go for an online masters of business analytics degree. You’ll be able to get your formation as you keep your current position, and get credentials that will be recognised virtually anywhere. As a matter of fact, this MS in business analytics from Aston University Online was in the top 80 in the world in terms of employability.
You should also know that not all data scientist positions are the same, and you could choose to work on the analytical side of things if computer science is not your main interest. In this case, you might be more involved with the interpretation of the data, and work more on decision making.
When you work on analytics, you need to have a bit more knowledge of things like maths and statistics, especially linear algebra. These professionals use their skills to build advanced simulations and complex models in a big data environment.
Here are some of the electives those interested in the analytics side of data science gravitate towards:
- Web-based app development
- Data management architectures
- Business intelligence technologies and methods
- Object-oriented app development
This is also a field that can be very lucrative, though not as much as quantitative analyst,but the gap is slowly closing between the two. “If the candidate has a PhD in the right subject and from the right college, and has the right internship with people like Google, Apple or another giant in Silicon Valley, they can get a top salary right off the bat,” said CEO and founder of Glocap, Adam Zoia.
The job of “quants” as they’re commonly referred to, is to use data modelling in order to evaluate risks. They will also help all sorts of organisations identify the value of investments and acquisitions. As a quantitative analyst, you might be asked to work with:
- Investment banks
- Hedge funds
- Asset managers
- Insurance companies
- Private equity firms
The demand for quantitative analysts is especially high in the trading world. This is in part due to the explosion of electronic trading and algorithms. Long gone are the days of traders frantically walking up and down trading floors shouting orders. Everything is done through software now, and with algorithms making selling and buying decisions.
But while algorithms are great, brains are still needed to program them. The best quantitative analysts are able to program powerful algorithms based on the objectives and criteria of investors.
Quantitative analysts are also involved on the sell side. They might advise companies on how to value their securities, for instance. On the buy side, they determine ROI and risk vs reward. Outside of the world of finance, they might be asked to build risk evaluation strategies or pricing models.
However, to be successful as a quantitative analyst, you will need a specific set of skills. But the most important is maths. Great quantitative analysts are maths geniuses, and it will take you much more than simply above average quantitative skills to really stand out in this field.
You’ll also need to have advanced computer skills if you want to be able to survive. You will need a strong IT foundation if you want to be able to perform high-frequency algorithm-based trades. You should also know that it can be a very demanding position and that the hours can be very long. This means that you’ll need to have an impeccable work ethic and be ready to go the extra mile to meet objectives.
Business Analyst Consultant or Manager
If you feel like you have the leadership qualities needed for the job, you could also consider working as a business analyst consultant or manager. Their job will be to use the data gathered by scientists and use it to direct concrete business efforts.
They will need to be able to piece big-picture insights together with other members of their data teams. They will also need to be able to communicate these insights with different players within the company and make sure that data-driven changes are implemented. Students who want to enter the field should consider electives in leadership and change management.
All of these careers are great options if you are interested in working in business analytics. They are also some of the most in-demand, so make sure that you speak with your career services today, and see which ones of these options would be the most viable choice for you.